Egypt - In a move that strengthens the enduring partnership between Egypt and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a significant financing agreement was endorsed.

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation and the country’s representative at the World Bank, presided over the signing of a $100m financing deal between the IFC and Banque du Caire.

This event also included the ratification of a consultancy contract with the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance.

The signing ceremony was a highlight of the “IFC Day in Egypt” event, graced by the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, along with ministers overseeing Planning, Finance, Communications, and the Public Enterprises Sector. The event also saw participation from numerous bank executives and representatives from the private sector.

The consultancy pact for the Comprehensive Health Insurance System was formalized by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and the Chairman of the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance. Meanwhile, Banque du Caire’s financing agreement was inked by the bank’s Chairperson, Tarek Fayed. Representing the IFC, Sérgio Pimenta, the Regional Vice President for Africa, signed the agreements.

Minister Al-Mashat witnessed the agreement between Banque du Caire and the IFC, earmarking $100m to bolster the growth of small, medium, and micro-enterprises within the private sector. This includes a $50m allocation aimed at supporting women-led entrepreneurial ventures, alongside another $50m dedicated to facilitating trade through the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.

The Minister highlighted the significance of today’s agreement, noting it builds upon previous collaborations, such as the IFC’s $100m investment in Egypt’s inaugural green bonds for the private sector, a step towards sustainable development and emission reduction.

Minister Mashat reiterated the Ministry of International Cooperation’s commitment to executing presidential directives that bolster and empower the private sector. This entails enhancing partnerships with various development entities to secure a broader spectrum of financial instruments for private enterprises, thereby expanding both direct and indirect funding avenues within Egypt.

From 2020 to 2023, the Egyptian private sector secured concessional development funds totalling $10.3bn, encompassing direct investments, stakeholder contributions, technical assistance, and credit facilities.

On the topic of the Consulting Services Agreement, Minister Al-Mashat confirmed that its endorsement fortifies collaborative efforts with development partners to back Egypt’s Comprehensive Health Insurance System. This initiative is pivotal in the government’s quest to ensure universal healthcare services and insurance coverage, facilitated through agreements with a network of private healthcare providers.

The Minister acknowledged the success in mobilising concessional development funds of $900m, contributed by the World Bank ($400m), the French Development Agency ($181.6m), and Japanese entities ($326.7m), reflecting Egypt’s solid ties with its development partners.

Under the new agreement, the IFC leverages its extensive experience in private sector engagement across over 100 countries to analyse and refine contracting processes, engage with key stakeholders, and offer technical support for partnerships with private healthcare providers. This comprehensive support extends to the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance, aligning with the project’s strategic goals.

Expressing appreciation for the IFC’s unwavering support, Minister Al-Mashat commended the corporation’s role in fostering robust partnerships that contribute to Egypt’s developmental aspirations across various sectors. She underscored the significance of this agreement as an extension of the IFC’s $34m commitment to Egypt, spanning manufacturing, agriculture, public-private partnerships, eco-friendly construction, gender equality, and the financial industry.

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